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Police look into possible misappropriation of funds at hospital

By Staff
Hospital Foundation request investigation into missing money
By CLAUD HODGES
Senior Reporter
The Washington Police Department is investigating if funds were misappropriated from the Beaufort County Hospital Foundation.
Police Chief Mitchell “Mick” Reed said the focus is on a period from mid-2002 through early 2006.
The Beaufort County Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees issued a press release Tuesday evening. Kira Rucquoi, director of development for the hospital, said they “have recently been made aware of possible misappropriation of Foundation funds.”
Reed said he was notified by a representative of the foundation on Monday morning and said the suspect had been employed by the hospital and assigned to the foundation. The employee is no longer employed by the hospital, Rucquoi said Wednesday afternoon.
Pam Shadle, manager of marketing and public relations at the hospital, said the suspect’s name could not be released by the hospital or foundation because it was against the hospital’s and the foundation’s personnel policies.
While the hospital’s primary function is to care for patients, the foundation is the hospital’s fund raising arm, she said
Reed said Wednesday morning that the board and the hospital “have done the right thing” by asking for the Police Department’s help “early on in the case” soon after the alleged crime had been discovered.
If organizations, “try to work on an alleged crime themselves before calling on law enforcement,” it usually clouds the issue and makes it more difficult for law enforcement to get a good start on it, Reed said.
The case is “just in the preliminary stages right now,” Reed said.
If police determine a crime has been committed, the investigation will be turned over to District Attorney Seth Edwards.